ITAEWON CLASS (THE REVIEW)
The lockdown apparently has affected the “normality” of lives and is probably still affecting many-especially the boredom that comes with being indoors and unable to do anything. This affected me on a personal level-to the extent of getting tired of the ‘status quo’ in terms of movies.
That, instead pushed me to do the unusual; I googled the top five k-drama movies of 2020- and Itaewon class among others caught my attention. The plot, however threw me off a bit- but nevertheless piqued my interest.
IT’S SPECIALTY 🤯
Itaewon class isn’t your regular dicey, cheesy, romance k-drama movie. No! It surpasses all of that- it introduces reality as it were, moral and social vices, the struggles of youths, the importance of discipline, philosophy and a whole lot more.
It’s a drama that manages to combine a little bit of action- in terms of fist fights and the whole showdown, a shot of excitement mixed with some adrenaline in the middle and towards the end.
The swagger to which the show progressed was incredible; the mouthwatering fashion choices was the huge cherry on top of this electrifying series.
The first episode ran its course in a slow like fashion- introducing us to the lead characters in the persons of Park Sae-ro-yi portrayed by (Park Seo-Joon) who happens to be a strict, and socially awkward person in high school.
He doesn’t mingle or have friends; usually and always on his own- giving him this roguish bad boy vibe😉 in school and of course tugging heartstrings along the way.
Due to some certain issues; he had to change schools- which led to a change in environment for him and his father.
This episode gradually prepares the foundation for the plot of movie. Coincidentally, the new school he will be attending happens to be the exact same school an important character in the course of the series happens to attend.
For the record, during the second episode the show picks up its pace to a higher level with higher stakes. The show introduces Park going to school and meeting on the way, a girl donning his exact school uniform, who appears to be carefree, snarky, rude and selfish; As a result of a particular action of this girl, which was the fact that a beggar was asking for alms on the subway and instead of her to help she rather forcefully pushes the beggar and walks away; Park was astonished.
Stunned 🤯by her crazy-like behavior, he proceeds to help the beggar while shouting at her to stop. The lady in question is Oh Soo-ah portrayed by Kwon Nara.
It all comes together in such a way that Soo-ah happens to be his classmate and has a sort of “daughter-friend like relation” with his father. That piece of information came into play when Park follows his father to the orphanage his father happens to take care of and meets her again for the second time.
She tries to strike up a conversation- but he bluntly plays it off by using the mute card and refuses to answer.
His father covers up instead by explaining to Soo-ah that he’s a loner and berates him for being rude.
She consistently rather rises up to the silent challenge by making him talk and tells him straight up that he knows nothing about the world 🙃 and its cruelty- and that, he has no right whatsoever to judge her by the one-time experience on the subway. Furthermore, schooling him on the fact that the world doesn’t work in a two way description and that he shouldn’t judge her till he experiences the things she has.😏
The drama picks up tempo here on multiple levels and builds up towards a dangerous edge sooner than I expected it too. Fast forward to school we could see Park driving into a dangerous corner by trying to stop deep rooted bullying and in the process throws a punch or two at none other than his father’s boss’s son in person of Ahn Bo-Hyun.
Bo-Hyun was utterly wowed at Park’s audacity to try such especially on his first day at school and proceeds to ruin his life- by reporting to his father who happens to be the CEO of a large food conglomerate in Asia which leads to a chain of events such as the expulsion of Park from school and of course his father sacked from work.
MAJOR PREMISES AND CHARACTERS TO LOOK OUT FOR-
Drum roll! 🥁 This is the first son of the CEO of Jang’s food company and the guy responsible for the major misfortunes In Park’s life.
Honestly, the list is quite long- a handsome villain if you ask me. He originally was the main villain before he later became the lesser evil of choice in comparison to his father during the movies course- later, moving forward to being the most deadly of all in the series finale.
He was responsible for the death of Park’s Father during a drunk driving incident.
Later on, due to the extreme lengths of his father trying to groom him into a ‘man’ and the perfect heir. This rather made him further dependent on “the benefits of power and authority” by turning the tides against Park by bribing the officials and corrupting evidences against himself- thereby automatically making Park a convict instead of himself.
The series shed light on his character as slightly unhinged emotionally and esteem wise tinged with a desperation of some sort in terms of love and attention from his father- and didn’t care what lengths it took to get a tendril of affection from his father. His father apparently acted more of a boss and mentor who was grooming his protégé– than a father figure which further influenced his choices and decisions throughout the movie.
PARK SAE-RO-YI portrayed by Park Seo-Joon. My respect for him as an artist went up a trillion bit higher after seeing this movie. I must confess, he took acting to a whole new level of perfection and bad-assery. The Writer-nim’s intelligence, style, and flavor really shone throughout the movie- and most importantly presented the series in such an unreservedly, unabashedly real and relatable manner.
Park was an ‘old fashioned’ guy in a twentysomething millennial- who irrespective of the cards he was dealt with fell and rose up about a million times. 😱He embodied selflessness, discipline, cuteness, love, doggedness, and ambition. During his time in Jail, he read books and decided to venture into the food industry in terms of restaurants and lounges. He decided to do whatever it took; to save up and actualize his dreams.
SCENES I LOVED
He embodied all the attributes of Love described in the Holy book and his ability to bring those attributes into fruition irrespective of how dire the circumstance is; was swoon worthy and worth emulating. He gave fairy tales and knights in shining armors a run for their money.
I mean, how do you intensely keep on loving someone who claims to love you but still betrays you countless times? In episode 4 while he was in Prison- Soo-ah visited him and told him that his archenemy (CEO OF Janga food conglomerate) offered her a scholarship accompanied with a job position and that she took it.
Guess what Park’s reply was?
He expressed his profound happiness about her scholarship and point blank told her that he didn’t expect her to stop living and that he totally understands while wishing her the best in her endeavors. She proceeded to ask him what he planned to do after his sentence; he explained that due to his status as an ex-convict, that streamlines his opportunities and career options to a large extent-but stated he has decided to venture into the food industry and later turn it into something huge and big.
Guess what she did after his explanation?🙄
She burst into bouts of laughter- while he smiled in understanding and a realization that she wasn’t seeing into his vision; then she proceeded to ask a very ‘unwarranted and naïve question’.
She asked – Is this revenge?
And he gave the best answer possible- Maybe, Maybe not.
A few years later, after years of silence- months to his freedom she sent him a letter- talking about how she was faring and where she now resides; a place called Itaewon which later proves to be of great importance to the movie and its title– describing the place as beautiful, serene, free, amazing and expensive, going further to explain customs associated with the area such as a certain festival that occurs every year in the area that’s akin to Halloween where people of different races and culture come together to have fun without restraints.
In that very moment after he finished reading the contents of the letter to his satisfaction, he decided that with the money he had left, he would visit Itaewon and see for himself everything Soo-ah described in the letter-especially the festival.
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